Manuscript Submission Guidelines

Tropical Doctor Tropical Doctor

  1. Peer review policy
  2. Article types
  3. Authorship
  4. How to submit your manuscript
  5. Journal contributor's publishing agreement
    5.1 SAGE Choice and Open Access
  6. Statements and conventions
    6.1 Acknowledgments
    6.2 Declaration of conflicting interests
    6.3 Funding acknowledgement
    6.4 Other statements and conventions
  7. Permissions
  8. Manuscript style
    8.1 File types
    8.2 Journal style
    8.3 Reference style
    8.4 Manuscript preparation
  9. After acceptance
    9.1 Proofs
    9.2 E-Prints
    9.3 SAGE production
    9.4 OnlineFirst publication
  10. Further information

The purpose of the journal is: (1) to publish contributions on the prevention, management and treatment of prevalent diseases, and on the promotion of health in developing countries; and (2) to present a picture of the problems of health and disease in these countries as a step towards lessening the sense of isolation felt by those working far from advanced medical centres. The editors will provide support for authors whose first language is not English. No paper will be rejected merely on the basis of a lack of familiarity with the style of written English language.

 

1. Peer review policy

Covering letter
The covering letter is important. To help the Editors in their preliminary evaluation, please indicate why you think the paper suitable for publication. If your paper should be considered for fast-track publication, please explain why.

Peer review
All papers submitted for publication undergo peer review.

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2. Article types

Original Articles
From 1000-3000 words. The content of the paper must justify its length. For reports of original investigative work, traditional division into sections is required: summary (maximum 150 words), introduction, patients/methods, results, discussion, acknowledgements, references. Black and white photographs and line drawings are welcomed if they illuminate the text.

Short Reports
Up to 1000 words, with a maximum of two tables or figures and 10 references. A brief, three sentence summary should be included. The majority of papers accepted for publication are Short Reports.

Research Letters
For original research work. Up to 700 words with a single table or figure and a maximum of five references.

Case Reports
Up to 600 words (one page of Tropical Doctor ). A brief summary should be included. The contents should be logically ordered, but division into sections is optional. One table or figure is allowed in addition to text. Up to five references may be given. Suitable for presenting descriptive studies (a series of cases of . . .etc.), some field studies, personal experience or individual case reports of particular interest.

Correspondence
Welcomed on any subject, including editorials or articles that have appeared in Tropical Doctor. Suitable for voicing opinions, which need not be orthodox. Letters may also be a suitable vehicle for presenting items of experience or observation that are too brief for Short Reports.

Methods and Devices
Papers describing procedures, techniques or equipment adapted by readers to their own conditions of work are welcomed. The author's name, qualifications, position, and place of work should be given. Illustrations, either clear black and white drawings or black and white photographic prints with good contrast, can be considered. References should be kept to a minimum.

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3. Authorship

Papers should only be submitted for consideration once the authorization of all contributing authors has been gathered. Tropical Doctor does not allow more than 6 authors to be named on each paper. Those submitting papers should carefully check that all those whose work contributed to the paper are acknowledged as contributing authors.

The list of authors should include all those who can legitimately claim authorship. This is all those who:

1. have made a substantial contribution to the concept and design, acquisition of data or analysis and interpretation of data
2. drafted the article or revised it critically for important intellectual content
3. approved the version to be published.

Authors should meet the conditions of all of the points above. Each author should have participated sufficiently in the work to take public responsibility for appropriate portions of the content. When a large, multicentre group has conducted the work, the group should identify the individuals who accept direct responsibility for the manuscript. These individuals should fully meet the criteria for authorship.

Acquisition of funding, collection of data, or general supervision of the research group alone does not constitute authorship, although all contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in the Acknowledgments section.
Please refer to the ICMJE Authorship guidelines at http://www.icmje.org/ethical_1author.html.

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4. How to submit your manuscript

Before submitting your manuscript, please ensure you carefully read and adhere to all the guidelines and instructions to authors provided below. Manuscripts not conforming to these guidelines may be returned.

Only manuscripts submitted via the online manuscript submission and peer review site, which can be found at http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/td will be considered for publication.

All submissions must be in English.

Tables and figures may be submitted as separate files, in which case the files should be uploaded in the following order: (1) main text, including title page, abstract and references; (2) tables; (3) figures; (4) supplementary files; and (5) author proforma.

Text files must be saved in .doc or .rtf format. Other suitable formats include .tif for photographic images, .xls for graphs produced in Excel, and .eps for other line drawings.

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5. Journal contributor’s publishing agreement   

Before publication SAGE requires the author as the rights holder to sign a Journal Contributor’s Publishing Agreement. SAGE’s Journal Contributor’s Publishing Agreement is an exclusive licence agreement which means that the author retains copyright in the work but grants SAGE the sole and exclusive right and licence to publish for the full legal term of copyright.  Exceptions may exist where an assignment of copyright is required or preferred by a proprietor other than SAGE. In this case copyright in the work will be assigned from the author to the society. For more information please visit our Frequently Asked Questions on the SAGE Journal Author Gateway.

Tropical Doctor and SAGE take issues of copyright infringement, plagiarism or other breaches of best practice in publication very seriously. We seek to protect the rights of our authors and we always investigate claims of plagiarism or misuse of articles published in the Journal. Equally, we seek to protect the reputation of the Journal against malpractice.  Submitted articles may be checked with duplication-checking software. Where an article is found to have plagiarised other work or included third-party copyright material without permission or with insufficient acknowledgement, or where the authorship of the article is contested, we reserve the right to take action including, but not limited to: publishing an erratum or corrigendum (correction); retracting the article (removing it from the journal); taking up the matter with the head of department or dean of the author's institution and/or relevant academic bodies or societies; banning the author from publication in the journal or all SAGE journals, or appropriate legal action.

5.1 SAGE Choice and Open Access

If you or your funder wish your article to be freely available online to non subscribers immediately upon publication (gold open access), you can opt for it to be included in SAGE Choice, subject to payment of a publication fee. The manuscript submission and peer review procedure is unchanged. On acceptance of your article, you will be asked to let SAGE know directly if you are choosing SAGE Choice. To check journal eligibility and the publication fee, please visit SAGE Choice. For more information on open access options and compliance at SAGE, including self author archiving deposits (green open access) visit SAGE Publishing Policies on our Journal Author Gateway.

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6. Statements and conventions

6.1. Acknowledgements

Any acknowledgements should appear first at the end of your article prior to your Declaration of Conflicting Interests (if applicable), any notes and your References.

All contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in an ‘Acknowledgements’ section. Examples of those who might be acknowledged include a person who provided purely technical help, writing assistance, or a department chair who provided only general support. Authors should disclose whether they had any writing assistance and identify the entity that paid for this assistance.

6.2 Declaration of conflicting interests

Within your Journal Contributor’s Publishing Agreement you will be required to make a certification with respect to a declaration of conflicting interests. It is the policy of Tropical Doctor to require a declaration of conflicting interests from all authors enabling a statement to be carried within the paginated pages of all published articles.

Please include any declaration at the end of your manuscript after any acknowledgements and prior to the references, under a heading ‘Declaration of Conflicting Interests’. If no declaration is made the following will be printed under this heading in your article: ‘None Declared’. Alternatively, you may wish to state that ‘The Author(s) declare(s) that there is no conflict of interest’. 

When making a declaration the disclosure information must be specific and include any financial relationship that all authors of the article has with any sponsoring organization and the for-profit interests the organization represents, and with any for-profit product discussed or implied in the text of the article.

Any commercial or financial involvements that might represent an appearance of a conflict of interest need to be additionally disclosed in the covering letter accompanying your article to assist the Editor in evaluating whether sufficient disclosure has been made within the Declaration of Conflicting Interests provided in the article.

For more information please visit the SAGE Journal Author Gateway.

6.3 Funding Acknowledgement

To comply with the guidance for Research Funders, Authors and Publishers issued by the Research Information Network (RIN), Tropical Doctor additionally requires all Authors to acknowledge their funding in a consistent fashion under a separate heading.  Please visit Funding Acknowledgements on the SAGE Journal Author Gateway to confirm the format of the acknowledgment text in the event of funding or state in your acknowledgments that: This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors. 

6.4 Other statements and conventions

6.4.1 Research ethics
All papers reporting animal and human studies must include whether written consent was obtained from the local Ethics Committee or Institutional Review Board. Please ensure that you have provided the full name and institution of the review committee and an Ethics Committee reference number.

We accept manuscripts that report human and/or animal studies for publication only if it is made clear that investigations were carried out to a high ethical standard. Studies in humans which might be interpreted as experimental (e.g. controlled trials) should conform to the Declaration of Helsinki http://www.wma.net/en/30publications/10policies/b3/index.html and typescripts must include a statement that the research protocol was approved by the appropriate ethical committee. In line with the Declaration of Helsinki 1975, revised Hong Kong 1989, we encourage authors to register their clinical trials (at http://clinicaltrials.gov or other suitable databases identified by the ICMJE, http://www.icmje.org/publishing_10register.html). If your trial has been registered, please state this on the Title Page. When reporting experiments on animals, indicate on the Title Page which guideline/law on the care and use of laboratory animals was followed.

6.4.2 Patient consent
Authors are required to ensure the following guidelines are followed, as recommended by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors, Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals. Patients have a right to privacy that should not be infringed without informed consent. Identifying information, including patients' names, initials, or hospital numbers, should not be published in written descriptions, photographs, and pedigrees unless the information is essential for scientific purposes and the patient (or parent or guardian) gives written informed consent for publication. Informed consent for this purpose requires that a patient who is identifiable be shown the manuscript to be published.

Identifying details should be omitted if they are not essential. Complete anonymity is difficult to achieve, however, and informed consent should be obtained if there is any doubt. For example, masking the eye region in photographs of patients is inadequate protection of anonymity. If identifying characteristics are altered to protect anonymity, such as in genetic pedigrees, authors should provide assurance that alterations do not distort scientific meaning and editors should so note. When informed consent has been obtained it should be indicated in the submitted article.

6.4.3 Statistical analyses
Where statistical analyses have been carried out please ensure that the methodology has been accurately described. In comparative studies power calculations are usually required. In research papers requiring complex statistics the advice of an expert statistician should be sought at the design/implementation stage of the study.

6.4.4 Randomized controlled trials
All randomized controlled trials submitted for publication in Tropical Doctor should include a completed Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT) flow chart. Please refer to the CONSORT statement website at http://www.consort-statement.org for more information.

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7. Permissions

Authors are responsible for obtaining permission from copyright holders for reproducing any illustrations, tables, figures or lengthy quotations previously published elsewhere. For further information including guidance on fair dealing for criticism and review, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions on the SAGE Journal Author Gateway.

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8. Manuscript style

8.1 File types

Only electronic files conforming to the journal's guidelines will be accepted. Preferred formats for the text and tables of your manuscript are Word DOC, RTF, XLS. LaTeX files are also accepted.  Please also refer to additional guideline on submitting artwork below.

8.2 Journal Style

Manuscripts must be submitted using double line-spaced, unjustified text throughout, with headings and subheadings in bold case. Press ‘Enter’ only at the end of a paragraph, list entry or heading.

Title page
The first page should contain the full title of the manuscript, a short title, the author(s) name(s) and affiliation(s), and the name, postal and email addresses of the author for correspondence, as well as a full list of declarations. Please also include a list of up to five keywords.

The title should be concise and informative, accurately indicating the content of the article. The short title should be no more than six words long.

Abstract
A summary of no more than 250 words must accompany all Review Articles, Original Articles and Short Reports, Research Letters, Case Reports, and Methods and Devices. The summary should cover: Background (context and rationale); Methods (type of study, patients, materials, techniques); Results (main numerical data and statistical information); and Conclusions (main objective and verifiable conclusions). Correspondence pieces do not require a summary.

Tables
Tables must be prepared using the Table feature of the word processor. Tables should not duplicate information given in the text, should be numbered in the order in which they are mentioned in the text, and should be given a brief title.

Figures
All figures should be numbered in the order in which they are mentioned in the text. All figures must be accompanied by a figure legend. If figures are supplied in separate files, the figure legends must all be listed at the end of the main text file.

Line drawings should be produced electronically and clearly labelled using a sans serif font such as Arial. Graphs may be supplied as Excel spreadsheets (one per sheet). Other line drawings should be supplied in a suitable vector graphic file format (e.g. .eps)

All photographic images should be submitted in camera-ready form (i.e. with all extraneous areas removed), and where necessary, magnification should be shown using a scale marker. Photographic images must be supplied at high resolution, preferably 600 dpi. Images supplied at less than 300 dpi are unsuitable for print and will delay publication. The preferred file format is .tif.

Abbreviations
Symbols and abbreviations should be those currently in use. Authors should not create new abbreviations and acronyms.

Units
All measurements should be expressed in SI units.

Statistics
If preparing statistical data for publication, please read the statistical guidelines.

8.2.1 Statistical Guidelines

These guidelines are designed to help authors prepare statistical data for publication and are not a substitute for the detailed guidance required to design a study or perform a statistical analysis. Each section of a scientific paper is addressed separately.

Summary
The number and source of data must be stated and conclusions which have a statistical basis must be substantiated by inclusion of pertinent descriptive statistics (mean or median, standard deviation [SD] or interquartile range, percentage coefficient of variation [%CV], 95% confidence limits, regression equations, etc.).

Methods
Experimental design, subject selection and randomization procedures should be described and analytical precision quoted when appropriate. The hypotheses to be tested by a statistical procedure must be stated and where appropriate power calculations for the sample size used should be given (it is recommended that the power is X80%). In case-control studies clearly define how cases and controls were selected and what matching has taken place.
We would advise authors to consider the STARD,1 CONSORT2 and STROBE3 statements for studies reporting diagnostic or clinical trials. They offer guidance on writing reports with complete clarity.

Results
Unnecessary precision, particularly in tables, should be avoided. Rounded figures are easier to compare and extra decimal places are rarely important. Descriptive statistics require an additional digit to those used for the raw data. Percentages should not be expressed to more than one decimal place and not be used at all for small samples.
Normally distributed data should be described using a mean, SD and/or %CV and expressed as ‘mean (SD)’ not ‘mean ± SD’. When data are not normally distributed, following demonstration by tests such as the Shapiro-Wilk test,4 then medians and interquartile ranges should be used in place of mean and SD. Skewed data can often be normalized by logarithmic transformation or a power transformation. The statistical analysis and calculation of summary statistics should be carried out on the transformed data and the summary statistics transformed back to the original scale for presentation. If a logarithmic scale is used then graphs should display non-transformed data on a logarithmic scale.
Graphs showing data of comparable magnitude should be of a similar size and design. All individual points should be displayed where possible by displacing overlapping points. Error bars showing the standard error of the mean (SEM) or interquartile range, as appropriate, can be used to aid interpretation of the data.
The results of significance tests such as Student’s and chi-squared should be presented with descriptive statistics, degrees of freedom (if appropriate) and probability P. The validity of any assumptions should be checked (e.g. conventional t-tests assume a normal distribution and equal variance for each set of data). For 2 x 2 contingency table analysis by the chi-squared test the continuity correction must be applied and for small expected frequencies Fisher’s Exact Test used. P values should be reported in fullto1or 2 significant figures, describing P values as 40.05 or NS (not significant) should be avoided. If the results are highly significant and the calculated P value from the computer is e.g. 0.000, then the use of P <_0.0005 is="is" acceptable.="acceptable." confidence="confidence" intervals="intervals" should="should" be="be" stated="stated" particularly="particularly" for="for" non-significant="non-significant" results.="results." br="br">The conventional use of statistical significance is P≤0.05. If a different significance level needs to be used then the reasons why must be clearly stated in the statistical method section.

Discussion
Statistical significance should not be equated to importance and P values should not be compared between different data sets or different statistical tests. Association should not be interpreted as causation without additional evidence.

Problem areas:

Multiple comparisons

Multiple comparisons can produce spurious and misleading significance values. The primary hypothesis should always be clearly stated, and associations detected by retrospective analysis should be interpreted with caution. Whenever possible a single overall statistical test should be applied first e.g. ANOVA. If this is not significant then multiple comparisons must not be applied. If it is significant then some form of multiple range test can be applied. If a single overall test is not possible then multiple comparisons must use a Bonferroni type significance level.

Paired data
With paired data the differences between individual pairs of data and the variability of the differences are more important than the individual values. Graphical representation should also show the difference between individual pairs, e.g. by plotted lines joining the paired data points.

Standard regression analysis
Standard regression analysis requires data points to be independent (repeated measurements are not independent). The independent variable should be measured without significant error, e.g. age or time, and the points should be evenly distributed over the range and have no outliers (this can be easily examined with a scatterplot). These requirements are rarely satisfied with biological data.

Method comparison
Method comparison using regression and correlation coefficients is inappropriate and should be performed using Altman and Bland difference plots.5 If a standard scatter plot and regression line are thought to be useful they can be given along with the Altman–Bland plot. Remember if two methods are supposed to be measuring the same thing then it is extremely likely they will be correlated so as a statistical tool correlation is not going to tell you anything new.

If you are carrying out complicated statistical analyses e.g. multivariate analysis, ROC analysis etc., then it is recommended that you seek advice from a statistician.

8.3 Reference Style

Only essential references should be included. Authors are responsible for verifying them against the original source material. Tropical Doctor uses the Vancouver referencing system: references should be identified in the text by superscript Arabic numerals after any punctuation, and numbered and listed at the end of the paper in the order in which they are first cited in the text. Automatic numbering should be avoided. References should include the names and initials of up to six authors. If there are more than six authors, only the first three should be named, followed by et al. Publications for which no author is apparent may be attributed to the organization from which they originate. Simply omit the name of the author for anonymous journal articles – avoid using ’Anonymous’. Punctuation in references should be kept to a minimum, as shown in the following examples:

  1. Malan E. Vascular Malformations (Angiodysplasisas). Milan: Carlo Erba, 1974
  2. Belov St. Classification of congenital vascular defects. Int Angiol 1990;9:141-6

8.4 Manuscript Preparation

The text should be double-spaced throughout and with a minimum of 3cm for left and right hand margins and 5cm at head and foot. Text should be standard 10 or 12 point.

8.4.1 Your Title, Keywords and Abstracts: Helping readers find your article online

The title, keywords and abstract are key to ensuring readers find your article online through online search engines such as Google. Please refer to the information and guidance on how best to title your article, write your abstract and select your keywords by visiting SAGE’s Journal Author Gateway Guidelines on How to Help Readers Find Your Article Online.

8.4.2 Corresponding Author Contact details

Provide full contact details for the corresponding author including email, mailing address and telephone numbers. Academic affiliations are required for all co-authors. These details should be presented separately to the main text of the article to facilitate anonymous peer review.

8.4.3 Guidelines for submitting artwork, figures and other graphics

For guidance on the preparation of illustrations, pictures and graphs in electronic format, please visit SAGE’s Manuscript Submission Guidelines.

Figures supplied in colour will appear in colour online regardless of whether or not these illustrations are reproduced in colour in the printed version. For specifically requested colour reproduction in print, you will receive information regarding the costs from SAGE after receipt of your accepted article.

8.4.4 Guidelines for submitting supplemental files

None.

8.4.5 English Language Editing services

Non-English speaking authors who would like to refine their use of language in their manuscripts might consider using a professional editing service.  Visit English Language Editing Services on our Journal Author Gateway for further information.

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9. After acceptance           

9.1 Proofs

We will email a PDF of the proofs to the corresponding author.

9.2 E-Prints

SAGE provides authors with access to a PDF of their final article. For further information please visit Offprints and Reprints on our Journal Author Gateway.

9.3 SAGE Production

At SAGE we place an extremely strong emphasis on the highest production standards possible. We attach high importance to our quality service levels in copy-editing, typesetting, printing, and online publication (http://online.sagepub.com/). We also seek to uphold excellent author relations throughout the publication process.

We value your feedback to ensure we continue to improve our author service levels. On publication all corresponding authors will receive a brief survey questionnaire on your experience of publishing in Tropical Doctor with SAGE. 

9.4 OnlineFirst Publication

A large number of journals benefit from OnlineFirst, a feature offered through SAGE’s electronic journal platform, SAGE Journals Online. It allows final revision articles (completed articles in queue for assignment to an upcoming issue) to be hosted online prior to their inclusion in a final print and online journal issue which significantly reduces the lead time between submission and publication. For more information please visit our OnlineFirst Fact Sheet.

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10. Further information

Any correspondence, queries or requests for information should be sent to:

Jennie Atkinson
Publishing Editor
SAGE Publications Ltd
1 Oliver's Yard, 55 City Road
London, EC1Y 1SP, UK
Tel: +44 (0)20 7324 5127
Email: jennie.atkinson@sagepub.co.uk
www.sagepub.co.uk 

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